Music running at over 120 BPM has been banned in South Korean gyms for two weeks over fears that fast beats could encourage more rigorous workouts, in turn increasing the transmission of COVID-19. 

The new measures, known as ‘Level 4 distancing rules’, have been publicly criticised as “nonsensical” and “ridiculous”, and begin on Monday 19th July in Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi Province. New regulations also prevent showering within fitness club premises or running at more than 6km per hour on a treadmill. 

In addition to the limits on gyms and their users, private gatherings of three or more people will be banned between 6PM and 5AM. Throughout the day, no more than four people are allowed to meet. Those caught in violation could be fined up to 100,000 won, or $87US. 

“I don’t know what’s more to worry about these droplets when everyone wears masks without exception,” Jang, a 32-year-old from Seoul, told The Korea Herald. “They require us to wear face masks while working out, check temperature before entry and provide our phone numbers, and I have closely followed these rules every day, and now they want us to stop running and listen to ballads?”

South Korea is currently experiencing its largest ever spike in COVID-19 cases, with recent days breaking records in terms of new infections, which are running at a seven-day average of 1,308 at the time of writing.

A new online gaming platform, onit.life, was launched in March by Seoul Community Radio, celebrating nightlife in the country’s capital.